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5 December 1956
|Occupation||Media Relations Consultant|
Publicity and Media Relations
In 1999, Ian launched Just Talking COMMUNICATIONS, initially as a broadcast PR agency specialising in radio interviews, but now extending to print, web and social media and taking in publicity campaigns and media relations.
Just Talking COMMUNICATIONS has managed radio publicity campaigns for many of the UK’s top twenty PR agencies including Grayling, The Red Consultancy, Citigate and Trimedia, all of whom are now part of Huntsworth plc, Hill & Knowlton (UK), QBO Bell Pottinger and Ash Communications Healthcare for commercial clients including Microsoft, Amazon, McDonalds, PC World, Norwich Union, AXA, British Gas, Sainsbury's Bank, Lloyds Pharmacy and the Prudential; for charity, not for profit and campaigning clients including the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the Kidney Alliance, the Alzheimer’s Society, the Royal Society of Midwives, the Federation of Master Builders, Home Builders Federation, ideasUK, the Institute of Spiritualist Mediums and the Sleep Council and for government clients including Business Link, DEFRA and the Financial Services Authority.
The company recently launched a book promotion division - Promote a Book - managing PR campaigns, marketing and social media activity for books, blogs and magazines as well as for authors, journalists and public speakers wanting to raise their personal profiles, and has run campaigns for Penguin Books Rough Guides, Capstone Wiley, Crown House Publishing, Kogan Page, Foxcote Books and Simon and Schuster.
BBC Radio Kent
His first regular on-air role for the station was co-hosting the gardening ‘phone-in with green-fingered broadcast veteran Bob Collard. Ian later joined the station’s weekday line up presenting afternoons including the consumer phone-ins. He also presented the station’s news drive programme and in 1995 launched the brand new early breakfast show, the Early Riser, BBC Radio Kent's first ever local early morning show starting at 5am. But his unique and occasionally off the wall style flourished when hosting the late night ‘phone-in, Mac ‘til Midnight, a role he inherited following the departure from the station of former Radio One presenter, Adrian John.
During his tenor of late nights, Ian developed a unique programme strand Students Have Their Say, empowering media students from nearby Mid Kent College to produce their own live, hour-long weekly debate on Radio Kent. The students also managed the phone room, deciding which calls to put to air under the guidance of the programme’s producer, Ian ‘Witters’ Whitmill, and also took part in the on-air debate. McGregor later taught the radio element of the BTEC media course at the Mid Kent College Horsted campus in Rochester.
He also hosted the Kent County Quiz, a touring show with live audiences, for several series, and appeared on the BBC stage at the Kent County Show for a number of years.
Ashford Festival Radio
Working alongside local businessman Tony Charman, BBC engineer John Reynolds and fellow broadcaster Gavin Lawrence (deceased), Ian headed up the team which masterminded Ashford (Kent’s) first ever special event radio station, Ashford Festival Radio, to promote Ashford International Festival. The station took to the airwaves at midday on Sunday July 7, 1996 on 107FM (first song: Simple Minds Promised You a Miracle) and closed when the license ended twenty-eight days later.
Ashford Festival Radio’s presenting team included Paul Stevens (ex Invicta FM) on breakfast, Peter Craske (now a politician) on mornings, John Hines (now with Manx Radio, Isle of Man) hosting afternoons, Ian McGregor (station manager) on Drive and Phill Thorne (AHBS) on late nights. The station gave two hours of its airtime each evening to a live broadcast from the town’s hospital radio station, Ashford Hospital Broadcasting Service (AHBS). By special arrangement, the station used Virgin Radio as its night-time sustaining service between midnight and 6am via a satellite feed.
107.1 The River
Ian went on to head up 107.1 The River as project director of the campaign to bring a local radio station to Gravesham and Dartford (known as Kent Thameside), staging three high profile twenty-eight day broadcasts to galvanise support.
107.1 The River took to the airwaves at midday on Saturday, July 5, 1997 (first song Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Proud Mary (roll it on the river) chosen by station engineer Colin Grant (deceased) and used to launch all three trial broadcasts.
The River’s second trial broadcast ran for twenty eight days from midday on Saturday, 27 November 1997 and its third and final trial broadcast commenced at midday on Saturday, July 3, 1999, ending at midnight on Friday, July 30 (last song, Freiheit’s Keeping The Dream Alive).
The station’s line up over the three trial broadcasts included local Baptist minister Michael Fanstone (now with Premier Christian Radio) hosting the lunchtime news programme River Reports, and various presenters from Gravesend’s hospital radio station, Radio North Kent (RNK), including Peter Craske, Dave Lockyer, Jeff Pettman, Mike Pearson, Mike Povey (deceased), Winston Nurse (deceased), Nick Biggs and RNK’s doyenne and founder Tony Weaver.
As well as the day to day management of the station, Ian McGregor presented River Drive during the first River broadcast and Breakfast on the River on the others. The road, rail and river travel was presented on the breakfast show by Karen Redmond Smith who also worked for White Horse Ferries which ran the Gravesend-Tilbury ferry service, and on drive time by Claire Holley and Helen Downs.
The radio station attracted national publicity when it broadcast – live and in full - the wedding service of two of its listeners, Louise Holden and Damon Cochrane, from its makeshift studio in a shop in Gravesend’s St George’s Shopping Centre. The broadcast was a radio first.
The station hit the headlines again during its Christmas 1997 broadcast when the transmission was hacked by a radio pirate operating with the call-sign ‘West and North Kent Extreme Radio’. The campaign group presented over 6,000 letters and signatures to the Radio Authority in support of its bid to have a local radio license advertised for Gravesham and Dartford, but a license was never granted due to the shortage of available FM frequencies in an area so close to London.
Travel news reporting
In 1995, working with fellow broadcaster Gavin Lawrence, Ian helped set up Channel Travel Radio, an FM radio station based at the Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal, licensed by the Radio Authority to give cross channel travel information including ferry and shuttle news, mainly to drivers on the M20 between Ashford and Folkestone. He also presented GLR (Greater London Radio) travel news for London from the BBC studios at New Scotland Yard, working alongside legendary London travel reporters Bob ‘Bobo’ Richards, Dennis Collison and ‘Sally Traffic’ Boazman. Ian was also an occasional travel news presenter for BBC Radio Five Live and scriptwriter for the BBC’s national Ceefax service.
Other radio work
For a short while, Ian presented the rolling news service on ITN News Direct (now LBC News) and was also breakfast news presenter at Dream 107 (now Chelmsford Radio). He has also presented drive time for Manx Radio on the Isle of Man and worked as a presenter on the trial broadcasts of Chelmer Radio and Maidstone’s CTR (now KMfm). He has also been heard on several community radio stations, including Phoenix FM in Brentwood as weekend breakfast presenter and more recently on Corby Radio in the East Midlands.
Ian was press officer for British Rail Southern Region between 1987 and 1992, often appearing as crisis spokesperson on radio and television. He also presented live radio travel reports, half-hourly on the BBC Radio London and BBC Radio Kent breakfast and drive shows from a studio at London’s Waterloo Station. Before then, at the age of twenty-nine, he was the youngest ever chief clerk at London Saint Pancras ticket office. He has also worked in the ticket and information offices at London’s King’s Cross and Liverpool Street stations and at Braintree, Witham, Colchester and Kelvedon on the Great Eastern line.
- "Ian McGregor". Sylvia Kent. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
- "BBC Radio Kent". Retrieved 2012-01-21.
- "His introduction to media relations was one of the toughest of all – spokesperson for the rail industry!". Music Radio Creative. Retrieved 2012-01-21.